Chimp Haven Begins Construction to Retire NIRC Chimps

Chimp Haven is proud to announce it has started the construction needed to retire the remaining 60 New Iberia Research Center chimpanzees scheduled to arrive in late fall. The chimpanzee sanctuary has again chosen Boggs & Poole Contracting Group, Inc. of Bossier City, La. as the general contractor to oversee the $2.6 million project. Chimp Haven worked with Boggs & Poole on its first phase of construction in 2003.


“We are pleased to once again collaborate with Boggs & Poole to expand our facility,” Chimp Haven President and CEO Cathy Willis Spraetz said. “It is a privilege to have a relationship with a local company that understands our unique construction needs which helps us to achieve our immediate goals for our organization.”

Chimp Haven began fundraising for the construction project in November 2012 with the launch of Road to Chimp Haven, a $5 million capital campaign to provide sanctuary for 110 New Iberia Research Center chimpanzees. The project includes the completion of six playgrounds and the building of indoor sleeping quarters and a 14,764 sq. ft. play yard. With the addition of these areas, the sanctuary will be able to provide adequate room needed to continue taking in the NIRC chimpanzees.


“Chimp Haven sits on 200 acres of prime forested real estate donated by Caddo Parish,” Willis Spraetz said. “We currently occupy 100 acres with chimpanzee-designated enclosures. Thanks to generous donors we are able to expand our facility to include needed structures that will allow us to continue executing our mission of providing a home for retired chimpanzees.”

Donors that contributed to the $5 million capital campaign include animal activists Bob Barker and Anita Hirsh, who each donated $1 million, along with a network of animal welfare organizations. However, $2.2 million is still needed for the care of the chimpanzees.

“We will continue to work towards our $5 million goal,” Willis Spraetz said. “With the help of supporters and donors we will be able to offer these 60 chimpanzees, as well as those who will follow a well-deserved environment filled with trees to climb, large spaces to explore and the ability to make choices.”

For more information or to donate to the Road to Chimp Haven, click here.